Manchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling has been awarded the Integrity and Impact Award at this year’s BT Sport Industry Awards.
The honour recognised Sterling’s contribution in the fight against racism in football; the City star used his platform throughout the season to highlight many social issues within the sport, in particular racial abuse.
After receiving the award from England coach Gareth Southgate, Sterling said: “I was just speaking about my personal experiences, I didn’t expect it to get so much attention, I just wanted to bring it to the attention of my audience on Instagram.
“It’s been really pleasing to see people listening and trying and do better. Partly what happens when you try to do good things is you set examples for the next generation coming through.”
It has been a successful week for the ex-Liverpool player, having been included into the PFA Team of the Season and winning the PFA Young Player of the Year award, beating the likes of teammate Bernado Silva, Marcus Rashford and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The 24-year-old also signed a manifesto earlier this week that proposed if supporters participated in racist behaviour, clubs should be handed automatic nine-point deductions and ordered to play three games behind closed doors.
Sterling commended the example of his former captain Steven Gerrard as he encouraged him to try to develop into a role model.
“Coming from Liverpool I had people around me like Steven Gerrard that I looked up to and I’m looking at him and thinking ‘what can I do within myself to be half the person and player he was’,” he added.
“You take little things and each year you try and develop them and become better not just on the field but off it as well.”
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) April 25, 2019
Founders of the award, Dow Jones Sports Intelligence, congratulated Sterling for the impact his actions had in addressing racism and other “social issues of diversity and inclusivity.”
Dow Jones head of sport Simon Greenberg said in a statement: “He (Sterling) has given new confidence and a voice to other footballers and athletes to speak out when once they may not have done so.”
“He has sparked the sports media and the industry more widely to consider conscious or sub-conscious racial bias in their actions.”